Helmores Class Q Barn Conversion

From Barns to Living Spaces: Government Eases Rules for Farm Building Conversions

We’ve got some exciting news from the government about converting farm buildings into homes. If you’ve been thinking about making changes on your farm, now could be the perfect time. These new rules, which come into effect on 21st May 2024, open up new opportunities that previously weren’t possible.

What Are Permitted Development Rights?

Permitted development rights let you make certain changes to your property without needing full planning permission. One of the key changes is related to Class Q. This means you can turn farm buildings into homes more easily.

Key Changes to Class Q Rules

The recent government updates have made it simpler to convert farm buildings into homes. Here’s what you need to know:

New Dates for Eligibility:

  • Before, only barns in use before 20th March 2013 could be converted. Now, buildings used for farming up until 24th July 2023 are also eligible.

More Types of Buildings Allowed:

  • Buildings don’t have to be purely for farming to be converted. If they are on a farm, they can be used. This means you could convert storage or mixed-use buildings on your farm.

Simpler Limits on Dwellings:

  • You can now create up to 10 homes with a total maximum size of 1000m². Each home can be up to 150m². This replaces the old limit of 5 homes with a mix of small and large dwellings.

Easier Extensions and Changes:

  • Before, you couldn’t extend the building. Now, you can extend the back of the building onto hardstanding (solid ground) that was there up to 24th July 2023. Extensions can be single-storey, up to 4m high and 4m deep. They cannot extend beyond a side or front elevation.
  • You can also extend the external envelope to carry out reasonably necessary operations, meaning cladding can be added.

Clearer Access Rules:

  • A previous grey area has been cleared up; it is now specified that buildings without an existing ‘suitable access’ cannot be converted under Class Q. This ensures only buildings with practical access are eligible for conversion.

Focus on the Environment

The new rules also make sure that converted buildings are energy efficient. This is good for the environment and helps save on utility bills in the long run.

Support for Farmers

These changes help support the rural economy by allowing farmers to make better use of their buildings. Converting unused farm buildings into homes can create new income streams and help keep farms sustainable.

How We Can Help

If you find all this a bit mind-boggling, don't worry! We offer an expert planning service to help you get Class Q permission. This can be on a risk-free no win/no fee or a fixed fee, whichever suits you best. We will manage the whole process for you, so you don't have to worry about anything. Get in touch today with me, George Clover, on 01363 777999 or george@helmores.com

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